Koha 3 Library Management System

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781849510820
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing
  • Publication date: 11/13/2010
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.60 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    for global readership

    Koha does not appear all that simple to install. That the first 4 chapters of this book are devoted to the installation is implicit acknowledgement. Part of the complexity appears to be the dependence of Koha on LAMP - linux, Apache, MySql and Perl. So you need a linux machine. The narrative says that the main linux distributions are supported - including Ubuntu. This is reassuring. But the need to pre-install Apache, MySql and Perl can be fraught with problems, as each is being continually revved. Hopefully, if you are already an experienced sysadmin, you can deal with any problems.

    Chapter 5 shows the many configurations possible with your Koha database. It is here that you can start to appreciate the power of Koha. Chapter 6 takes this further, by looking at the circulation module. This maps from your library's existing policies for circulating books to how Koha can implement them in its database.

    What is interesting is one of the examples for a library type in Chapter 6. (Though I don't think the authors necessarily intended this.) It describes a public library and an academic library, where the latter is inside a university. But it also talks about a commercial library, where customers pay to be members, and where there are several levels of customers, each level costing a different price. The example seems attuned to India, especially when it quotes prices in rupees. In the US and Australia, I've never heard of a commercial library. Perhaps its viability in India reflects the parlous level of publicly available educational resources. Anyhow, the example should tell the reader that the book is intended for global distribution.

    As a practical matter, Chapter 9 discusses a crucial point - how to migrate catalog data from some legacy system to Koha. The chapter has an extended example of how to do this with MARC files, where the latter may already be familiar to you if you are in library administration. Various Koha import tools have been built to handle MARC, and the chapter walks through how to use them. In practice, the biggest issue is that you need to check that the mapping from MARC fields to Koha fields make sense. This has to be manually done by walking through the meanings of both types. The chapter gives an appreciation of the complexity you'll encounter, when, as you should expect, there is a mismatch impedance.

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